INTERPRETATIONS OF ASIA
Cover: The Chinese Vernacular Story, from Harvard University PressCover: The Chinese Vernacular Story in E-DITION

Harvard East Asian Series 94

The Chinese Vernacular Story

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • £54.95 • €60.00

ISBN 9780674418462

Publication Date: 03/04/1981

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

The huaben, or vernacular story, was one of the richest, most varied, and appealing genres in all Chinese literature, often reaching a larger audience than works in Classical Chinese. And yet, because of its very popularity, the huaben was almost entirely disregarded by official, learned society. Now, Patrick Hanan brings this intriguing half-buried literature to light, tracing its development from the thirteenth through the seventeenth century—when it became, indeed, the most vital form of Chinese fiction.

Hanan begins by explaining the position of vernacular language within Chinese language and literature as a whole. He then goes on to show how the huaben acquired a tremendous range of subjects and interests from the most serious moral and philosophical problems to crime stories, romances, and ribald satires. Hanan consistently relates the stories and their authors to China’s changing social and political life. At the same time, he carefully evaluates the best of the stories, giving fresh and detailed information about their composition, performance, and reception.

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